Rand Fishkin at SEOMox posted this video yesterday on the Google Panda update.
After viewing the video, I have a few things that I’m not sure about. First, I think the idea that Google is going to find the content that best matches what their human reviewers like, I don’t think that the results have reached the SERPs (search engine result pages) for many terms. In performing SEO competitive analysis on sites, I’m still seeing that links matter more than content.
It may be that Google is addressing top markets first, but for local SEO, it’s still links that matter most.
Now, I’m a content evangelist and I want nothing more than content quality and relevance to be the top factors in ranking a website and its pages. I just don’t see that at this point. However, I believe that all else being equal, content quality as determined by the Panda update will push the better quality content to the higher ranking. So if two or more sites are equally search engine optimized, the quality of the content will determine the higher ranking page.
I’m leaning toward this being a negative factor rather than a positive boost at this point. If your pages are scraped or copied, you are likely to loose points in the algorithmic scoring. If your content consists of short blog posts, you will suffer. At this point, having better content is unlikely to beat solid link profiles. I know that Google wants the best quality for their searchers and will continue to work at it until they get to that point.
I will continue to build high quality relevant visitor and SEO content for my sites and my clients. But, I will continue building links to that content. This is the best approach in the present and is future-proofing your site. I don’t believe in scraped or copied content on my sites and have never suffered from a change in the Google Algorithm. I’ve benefited when competitor sites were impacted. I will keep building the best content with the time and money available.